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Hopman Cup 1992 (IV)

Swiss Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere and Jakob Hlasek beat Czechs, Helena Sukova and Karel Novacek for the Hopman cup.

Date: 27 December – 3 January 1992

Venue: Burswood Entertainment Centre

Teams

Germany United States Czechoslovakia France
Boris Becker Derrick Rostagno Karel Novacek Henri Leconte
Steffi Graf Amy Frazier Helena Sukova Julie Halard
Spain Switzerland CIS Netherlands
Emilio Sanchez Jakob Hlasek Andrei Cherkasov Richard Krajicek
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere Natalia Zvereva Brenda Schultz

Results

Final

Switzerland 2 d Czechoslovakia 1

Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere d Helena Sukova 6-2 6-4
Jakob Hlasek d Karel Novacek 6-4 6-4
Novacek/Sukova d Hlasek/Maleeva-Fragniere 8-4

Semifinals

Czechoslovakia 2 d Germany 1

Helena Sukova d Steffi Graf 2-6 6-1 ret
Boris Becker d Karel Novacek 6-2 7-6
Novacek/Sukova d Becker/Graf 6-4 6-4

Switzerland 3 d Spain 0
Manuela Maleeva-Fragiere d Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 6-3 3-6 6-4
Jakob Hlasek d Emilio Sanchez 6-4 6-2
Hlasek/Maleeva-Fragniere d Sanchez/Sanchez Vicario 8-5

Quarterfinals

Switzerland 2 d CIS 1

Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere d Natalia Zvereva 5-7 6-0 6-2
Andrei Cherkasov d Jakob Hlasek 6-3 7-6
Hlasek/Maleeva-Fragniere d Cherkasov/Zvereva 6-2 6-1

Czechoslovakia 2 d USA 1

Helena Sukova d Amy Frazier 7-6 6-7 6-2
Derrick Rostagno d Karel Novacek 6-0 6-3
Novacek/Sukova d Rostagno/Frazier 6-2 6-1

Germany 2 d France 1

Steffi Graf d Julie Halard 6-0 7-5
Boris Becker d Henri Leconte 6-2 6-4
Leconte/Halard d Becker/Graf – 6-0 6-0 (walkover)

Spain 2 d Netherlands 1

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario d Brenda Schultz 6-2 6-4
Richard Krajicek d Emilio Sanchez 6-3 6-4
Sanchez/Sanchez Vicario d Krajicek/Schultz 6-7 7-6 7-6

First Round

Germany – Bye
Spain – Bye
USA – Bye
Switzerland – Bye

Czechoslovakia 2 d Japan 1

Kimiko Date d Helena Sukova 6-3 2-6 7-5
Karel Novacek d Yasufumi Yamamoto 6-4 6-7 6-3
Novacek/Sukova d Yamamoto/Date 6-2 6-4

Netherlands 3 d Australia 0

Brenda Schultz d Rachel McQuillan 6-7 6-3 6-2;
Richard Krajicek d Todd Woodbridge 6-0 6-3
Krajicek/Schultz d Woodbridge/McQuillan 8-4

CIS 2 d Great Britain 1

Natalia Zvereva d Jo Durie 4-6 6-0 6-4
Andrei Cherkasov d Jeremy Bates 6-3 4-6 6-1
Bates/Durie d Cherkasov/Zvereva 8-6

France 2 d Sweden 1

Julie Halard d Catarina Lindqvist 6-4 7-5
Henri Leconte d Peter Lundgren 6-4 2-6 6-3
Lundgren/Lindqvist d Leconte/Halard 8-6

Hopman Cup IV summary

The tennis coup of all time that’s what Hopman Cup IV signalled as the onlookers wondered just what the tournament organisers could produce to top previous great drawcards.

Prizemoney had catapulted from the first year’s pool of $250,000 to $600,000, with the winners sharing $140,000, plus the addition of two magnificent silver tennis balls with a difference encrusted with 160 rare diamonds from Argyle Diamonds and prepared by Perth jeweller Doris Brinkhaus valued at $30,000.

We had already seen the world’s No. 1 woman in the incomparable Steffi Graf at HCI, Wimbledon great John McEnroe at HCII and the delightful soon-to-be-No. 1 Monica Seles at HCIII. But now it was Germany’s Wimbledon champions double Graf on the same court as the legendary Boris Becker.

Between them they had won every major tennis trophy except the Hopman Cup and their appearance together in Perth was a tournament feat unique in tennis history.

Naturally they were the top seeds, ahead of a classy field that again boasted the Sanchez family and an Australian team that introduced Todd Woodbridge, who was making his mark as an outstanding doubles player.

The evergreen Helena Sukova opened proceedings with a shock loss to rising Japanese star Kimiko Date in three sets and the fiery Karel Novacek had to produce all his tricks to keep Czechoslovakia alive overcoming two conduct warnings on his way to a narrow win over world No. 824 Yasufumi Yamamoto who blew a 3-1 lead in the third set. The fifth-seeded Czechs got back on course to win the mixed, their 11th win to be unbeaten in doubles.

Holland’s big-serving Brenda Schultz celebrated her 21st birthday by beating young Aussie Rachel McQuillan and then Richard Krajicek showed the form that was soon to win him the Wimbledon singles crown as he blasted Woodbridge in straight sets.

A new nation flying the flag of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) had emerged amidst the break-up of the old Soviet Union and Natalia Zvereva downed Great Britain’s Jo Durie in three sets, as did Andrei Cherkasov against Jeremy Bates to give the new country their first international sporting victory.

They were followed by French duo Julie Halard and Henri Leconte — yet another of the modern-day musketeers in an entertaining mode that had the crowd roaring with laughter — who beat Sweden’s Catarina Lindqvist and Peter Lundgren.

Switzerland’s adopted fourth seeds of Jakob Hlasek (born in Czechoslovakia) and Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere (born in Bulgaria) were back again and though they lost the men’s singles, a great doubles effort saw them pass CIS on the way to the semis. In another quarter final, the Czechs downed third-seeded United States with Sukova too good for Amy Frazier and though Derrick Rostagno balanced it up, the Americans went down in a one-sided mixed.

Germany’s great double act of Graf and Becker dropped just 11 games between them in the singles against France’s Halard and Leconte — but the drama was only just starting.

Firstly, a 12-year-old ball boy named Nico Burmeister grabbed the world headlines when he copped a Becker backhand down the line on the ear and was KO’d out of his duties, causing great concern from the champion, who later presented him with a racquet.

The last quarter final saw Spain beat Holland 2-1, but that scoreline didn’t reveal the true contest after Arantxa beat Schultz, but Emilio lost to Krajicek. Then in the deciding mixed doubles, the Sanchezes came back from match point down in the third set to win 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 and advance to the semis. It was a certain backhand winner from Krajicek that agonisingly clipped the net and dropped back on his side at match point for the Dutch they don’t come much tighter than that!

The drama compounded when West Germany tackled the Czechs in the semi-finals, with Graf plagued by a stomach ailment later identified as german measles, retiring in the singles after winning the first set 6-2, but dropping the second 6-1 to Sukova. Becker balanced the ledger and then dramatically tried to carry Steffi through the mixed in order to snatch a finals berth. It was a superb exhibition of tennis by Becker, but he just failed, as they lost four and four to the Czechs.

The Swiss cow bells were ringing loudly as Manuela downed Arantxa in a thrilling three-setter and Hlasek beat Emilio in straight sets to earn their finals berth, featuring the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in yet another HC surprise finish.

Manuela, who by now was becoming a real Perth crowd favourite, beat Sukova in straight sets and when the classical stroke-making of Hlasek blunted the power of Novacek, four and four, the Swiss were the champs.

It was a great win for the Swiss, both born in other countries but happy to succeed for their adopted nation which seldom has the depth to succeed in Davis Cup or Fed Cup.